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I’m not saying anything about the girls being underage or not, but here are the hard facts I know:

  • My grandfather (who was born in China and later immigrated to Indonesia) didn’t know his own birthday, not even the year he was born–I don’t believe the Chinese bureaucratic system has changed that much to allow for perfect accuracy in signing birth certificates and stuff.
  • My aunt is 5′ and 77 lbs. She had given birth to two sons.
  • Asian girls tend to have menstruation later in life than American girls (I think it’s something in the American diet of fried chicken, burger, and frozen meals that affect Americans’ growth hormones) thus they still grow taller even after they’re 16 years old.
  • Asian people look younger than their actual age if judged base on Western standards. I’m 26 and people still ask me whether I’m a junior or a senior in college.

Discovery channel has a coverage about Chinese school for gymnasts: the school doesn’t accept kids over 4 years old, and they trained them for a year before determining whether or not they have ‘promising’ talent. The untalented ones get thrown out, and their parents said goodbye to the tuition fee. So 5-year-old kids are trained ruthlessly, 24/7, their bones and muscles twisted and bent and turned and trained in such a way that they almost always cry in pain; they go on in this fashion for 10 or so excruciating years…to win gold medals in the Olympic Games. And along with their gold medals, $100K and lifelong support for their family from the government. Should we criticize and demean this way of life by accusing them for being underage?

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Kalau orang Indonesia belum bisa (eksplorasi migas), biarin aja minyaknya diem dalam tanah!

Kwik Kian Gie, sebagaimana dikutip oleh Chatib Basri (tangan kanan Dr. Sri Mulyani, Menkeu Republik Indonesia) (maafkan untuk segala kesalahan dalam penulisan nama)

Kalau Indonesia masih sebegitu primitifnya, untuk selalu mencurigai setiap kucuran modal asing yang masuk, ngga heran negara tercinta ini ngga maju-maju… Exxon, BP, Itochu… bukan berarti perusahaan multinasional hanya memiliki motif mulia untuk melakukan eksplorasi di negara dunia ketiga. Ledakan pipa gas di Afrika (Shell), corporate IRresponsibility, dll. Tapi sikap seperti itu, bukankah termasuk fundamentalisme? Kesempitan pikiran, harga diri yang mengarah pada arogansi.

Tapi dunia semakin rata (mengutip Thomas Friedman), globalisasi membawa semua orang sebagai individual memiliki kekuatan untuk bersuara, berkreasi, dan mensabotase.

Siapa sebenarnya warganegara Indonesia? Pendatang dengan hati yang mencintai dan ingin memajukan Indonesia, ataukah anak bangsa yang dididik di luar negeri dan tidak lagi mencintai tanah air? Jawabannya terserah Anda. Toh di dunia global sekarang ini, kita semua adalah warganegara DUNIA.

Death catches up

Death marches with Time, its shadows lengthening with each year that we pass.

The first experience of Death might be a great grandparent–as young children, we don’t notice the details. It just happened: they just passed away. They simply are NOT anymore. Life is too full of other things to learn, too full of pretty things, Death is just a mere nightmare for children.

By our second experience of Death, it’s starting to flex its grip on us. We accompany a loved one through stages of Death: sickness, hospitalization, episodes of goodbyes, and the end. It started to dawn on us that death is a reality, and it’s ugly. But deep down we still think that Death is still a long way away. In our 20s or 30s, our health is a good distraction, banishing the shadows of Death to a corner.

By adulthood, Death plays a game of catch-up with Time: one-by-one, like leaves falling in the autumn, we see our friends leaving us, and Death intimately shares with us its darkness. And we begin to expect it to come down on us anytime.

When the time comes, how will I cope with Death?

Some go in and come back out / Some go in to stay for a while / Some go in and come out incomplete / Yet others / They go in to pass to the other Side

“Hospital”

The last time I went to visit my boyfriend, somehow I managed to get engaged.

I said “I managed” (instead of “we managed”) because of a theory I recently thought out. I hypothesized that:

  1. The culture we belong to influences our dating style (for the sake of simplicity, I made a Great Cultural Divide between West and East)
  2. Western guys (the bules) tend to resist falling in love; Eastern guys tend to find ‘the one’ fairly easily
  3. Eastern guys, however, after being in a relationship, tend to shy away from lifelong commitment; Western guys fall into that status fairly easily (provided they already found their lifemate)

I know a bule who dated an endless line of girls during high school and college, and resisted staying in a relationship for longer than 6 months. Then suddenly he met a wonderful girl, decided she’s his love of a lifetime, fought for her, overcame differences (and his allergy for ‘exclusive’ relationship), and off he married her. The chain of events seemed to go in an uninterrupted flow.

I also know a Chinese guy who dated his high-school sweetheart for 11 years, never experiencing on-and-off periods (like other puppy love couples), but still felt he’s not ready to commit himself to marriage. In the end the girl got tired of waiting for him and married another guy.

So, the next stage of my hypothesis goes as follows:

  1. Western guys stay in their boyish mindset UNTIL they meet their lifemate; only then would they start maturing up
  2. Eastern guys stay in their boyish mindset UNTIL they decide to get married; only then would they start maturing up
  3. (Although, to be honest, I never believe that boys can be anything other than boys

Going back to my opening statement: because I haven’t figured out the real reason both categories of guys decide to ‘take the next step’, I concluded that it must be due to some external force. In my case, the ‘external force’ would probably be me. Although what exactly did I do, I don’t know…

Ah… but all is well.

fool’s love

Tell me then, does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?

Love is the ability to make the invisible visible and the desire always to fell the invisible in one’s midst.

From “My Name Is Red”, Orhan Pamuk

parallel worlds

It’s not some far-fetched scientific romance or Huxleyan novel. We live in parallel worlds, with its own governments, its own social order, its own miseries and victories.

Say I’m a young career woman working in shopping center management, I like reading and writing novels, and I participate in a choir. So my parallel worlds consist of: workplace (further divided into: retail industry, Indonesia region, management), art community (with subcategories: writers, singers, photographers),  and status (under: career women, second generation Chinese Indonesians, the affluents). Not to mention oddball categories like: people who are good in analyzing data, people who lived abroad, etc.

Within those worlds I have a separate identity, I occupy differing social order, I attain certain status. Am I making you confused? Maybe the simplest way to break it down is this way: each world has its own CELEBRITIES. In my singers world I worship world-class divas and I don’t count much as a photographer, but in the clique of career women, people look up to me.

So a person who is nothing in world A can be a celebrity in world B. The worlds can be as narrow as you make it (appendicitis surgeons, hurricane hunters, non-profit workers in Mali), and it will still have its own social order.

I think it’s born out of our need (that is, us self-centered humans’ need) for recognition. It may not be conscious, and in itself it will create nothing (just a craving to be famous maybe), but a collective unconscious create these parallel worlds, so we can excel in at least one of our parallel worlds.

wOrKlIfE

yep.worklife is affecting my mind.cut my brain and it’ll look like some rorschach monster.it’s taking too much memory space,i’m running out of built-in RAM.i lost my writing mood,i lost my chatting mood,i even lost my calling-boyfriend-mood.